Arts & Entertainment

Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep”

Haven’t been updating much because there’s been so much happening in my life over the past week! There’s the Big News – the Twitterverse will know what I mean – and then we had the workers come in on Friday to put together our new-ish kitchen and living room. Loads of scrubbing and cleaning ensued.

And, not to forget, I also caught Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows not once but TWICE. And I loved every minute, so much so that I am dying to watch it a third time. But more on that later.

I’m pooped! (And not in the loo kinda way, if you know what I mean.)

But. I just want to share with you this beautiful, beautiful piece of music that I once had the immense pleasure of performing.

When we first got to know Eric Whitacre back in 2002, we knew he was some kind of superstar in the music world but we didn’t realise just exactly how famous he was. The songs that he composed were all amazing and so very different from the ones we were used to singing. They were poetic, beautifully discordant, angelic, vibrant, calm, lilting…everything a chorister could hope for in a song. And luckily for Chorale, he was in Singapore just to conduct us.

He came down for the practices and was charming, friendly and extremely funny. There were no airs, no diva behaviour, no tantrums and threats that we had grown used to with our conductor. His equally talented wife Hila was similarly warm and goofy.

That concert back in 2002 will always remain one of the highlights of my choral journey and this song will always be one of the best pieces that I have ever sung.

Harnessing the power of social media, he gathered almost 2,000 singers in 58 countries, had them sing and upload their parts (soprano, alto, tenor or bass) individually onto YouTube. The result: this wonderful virtual choir singing “Sleep”.

And here’s pictorial proof that we really, REALLY sang under his baton.

Eric Whitacre

Surely all memories should be made of stuff like that.


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